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Posted: 1/23/2010 9:54:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/24/2010 5:06:08 PM EDT by popnfresh]
Here is a cross post in case you don't make it to GD


As an addition to the argument against the "Don't tumble live ammo" internet myth, I have conducted a somewhat more extreme version of a previous "Tumbler of truth" experiment.
I have been tumbling a few loaded .223s prior to the previous thread for the sake of my own personal curiosity. The previous thread got me interested in a larger group of powder so I decided to use every powder I have.
I loaded them into primed .40 cases and seated and crimped my cast lead bullets to .40S&W OAL and scribed the powder type into the lead.

The .223s already had accumulated 95 hours in the tumbler so now with the additional 205 hours they have a total of 300 hours. I was aiming for 200 hours but it happened to end up at 205
because during the week I ran it from the time I got home from work until I left for work the next morning. I would have had to shut it off in the middle of the night to get an even 200.

All of the magnification levels are 45x and 75x accept for the one 1680 which is 150x. Most of the powder is too 3 dimensional to view over 75x; only one small area will focus at a time
so for the sake of the image I stayed at the lower magnification levels. I did the 1680 first and was still getting the hang of taking picture through the microscope and didn't yet have a standard
of the best method so the one 150x slipped through.

I tried to take some pictures of the walnut media, fresh and used, but it was to tall to get decent sized area into focus even at 45x.There was a bit more smoothness to the used from what I could see.


The tumbler I bought in '98 now has many many hours of tumbling goodness. I use 12/20 mesh walnut media.






This is how I took the pictures. An old Japanese student type microscope with 45x, 75x, 150x, 600x and 1125x magnification.
The camera is a Casio EX-Z750 and a Fenix L1D for overhead lighting.  






This is the brass the test rounds tumbled with. About 200-300 .40S&Ws and a few .223s.






Here are the cases in which the powder was tumbled, I marked the lead for powder I.D., the .223 has the 2230 and it has been going for an additional 95 hours.





The First two images of each four image set will be be a fresh sample straight from the container, they will be first at 45x the at 75x, the next two images will be a sample from the tumbled cartridge again at 45x first and then 75x


Winchester 748 @ 45x magnification


Winchester 748 @ 75x magnification

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Winchester 748 @ 45x magnification 205 hours in tumbler


Winchester 748 @ 75x magnification 205 hours in tumbler

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Unique @ 45x magnification


Unique @ 75x magnification

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Unique @ 45x magnification 205 hours in tumbler


Unique @ 75x magnification 205 hours in tumbler

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Power Pistol @ 45x magnification


Power Pistol @ 75x magnification

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Power Pistol @ 45x magnification 205 hours in tumbler


Power Pistol @ 75x magnification 205 hours in tumbler

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AA No.7 @ 45x magnification


AA No.7 @ 75x magnification

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AA No.7 @ 45x magnification 205 hours in tumbler


AA No.7 @ 75x magnification 205 hours in tumbler

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FFFg @ 45x magnification


FFFg @ 75x magnification

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FFFg @ 45x magnification 205 hours in tumbler


FFFg @ 75x magnification 205 hours in tumbler

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Bullseye @ 45x magnification


Bullseye @ 75x magnification

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Bullseye @ 45x magnification 205 hours in tumbler


Bullseye @ 75x magnification 205 hours in tumbler

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1680 @ 45x magnification


1680 @ 75x magnification

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1680 @ 45x magnification 205 hours in tumbler


1680 @ 150x magnification 205 hours in tumbler

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2230 @ 45x magnification


2230 @ 75x magnification

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2230 @ 45x magnification 300 hours in tumbler


2230 @ 75x magnification 300 hours in tumbler



From what I can see, there is no notable change to the powders, no breakdown, no coatings coming off,  I see nothing that would tell me the powder has changed. I even noticed some sharp spurs and loops of the silver substance that I would have thought would break off if the tumbling was so damaging.  Also there was no change to the OAL of the cartridges, the rifle cartridges were not crimped, the lead have a very slight crimp.


***************************************­*********************************************­***

Here is the link in GD with more pictures and discussion

***************************************­*********************************************­***




ETA: FOR PRIMER PHOTOS

Cannot really see much, 45x is too much magnification for such a large item.

SIDE by SIDE you can see the dirty one on the left where it pressed against the bottom of the primer pocket.


TUMBLED Wolf Small Pistol


New Wolf Small Pistol





***UPDATE***

I had two extra .223s with 300 hours in the tumbler and two extra .40S&W that spent 205 hours in the tumbler. These were proper loading so just to check for pressure signs I decided to fire them. For the sake of safety in case there was an explosion(the lead .40s were being fired through my factory Glock27 ), I fired them into the BOX O' SILENCE. There was no discernible difference in feel or sound and by the looks of the primers there was no excessive pressure.

In the photo from left to right is untumbled .40 then two .40s that spent 205 in the tumbler then two .223 that spent 300 in the tumbler and then two untumbled .223s

Click for full size.



Link Posted: 1/23/2010 10:01:01 PM EDT
Thanks for the pictures and the time you took to do the experiment.  Thats some damn good info.
Link Posted: 1/23/2010 10:02:40 PM EDT
That is just amazing. Thanks for doing this.  One question, is it just me or does it appear that some of the powder may have picked up brass shavings? I know that some small shavings may remain after seating a bullet but do you think this would have any affect on the powder itself or cause any damage to the casing. I'm not talking like rupturing a case but maybe some slight unforeseen internal damage?
Link Posted: 1/23/2010 10:45:02 PM EDT
Excellent report, you got a lot of time in this. Thank you.
Link Posted: 1/23/2010 10:57:30 PM EDT
I have never saw the test run for that many hours. I asked a powder company about that and they said did not do that type of testing. Thanks for the data.

Mike
Link Posted: 1/23/2010 10:59:11 PM EDT
I agree there doesn't look to be a lot of visible change to the powders.  I think I know the answer to this since you were using the same cases, but did you load any powder in the correct cartridges and fire over a crony with control rounds and tumbled rounds?
Link Posted: 1/23/2010 10:59:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/23/2010 11:00:48 PM EDT by Hebrew_Battle_Rifle]
Yeah, well, maybe that might be alright for YOUR tumbler, but what about other tumblers that vibrate at different frequencies huh? Ha HA! Betcha didn't think bout that huh? See, you ain't so smart after all. You keep spoutin that nonsense and you are going to get people KILLED!!! The internet told me that tumbling loaded ammo is BAAAAAAAAAAD!
Link Posted: 1/23/2010 10:59:42 PM EDT
Pictures are damn neat. Thanks for taking the time  to, in my mind, put this to rest. SS
Link Posted: 1/23/2010 11:33:11 PM EDT
Doesn't seem like the extra tumble time made the powder any cleaner. I'd probably just do it for an hour or two from now on.
Link Posted: 1/24/2010 12:32:37 AM EDT
The only powder that may have had a slight change was the FFFg black.  It appears as though the the tumbled grains have sharper and more jagged edges as though there was some breakdown occurring––-probably not enough to make that much difference in burn characteristics, however.
Link Posted: 1/24/2010 12:33:39 AM EDT
Is it just me, or do the tumbled black powder grains appear more angular and sharp than the non-tumbled ones?  Seems contrary to what I would expect.
Link Posted: 1/24/2010 12:50:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By pegleggreg:
Doesn't seem like the extra tumble time made the powder any cleaner. I'd probably just do it for an hour or two from now on.


LOL  
Link Posted: 1/24/2010 1:12:16 AM EDT
well done

I've tumbled after loading,  for 15mins to removed case lube, for years
Link Posted: 1/24/2010 3:35:30 AM EDT
Originally Posted By TripletDad:
I agree there doesn't look to be a lot of visible change to the powders.  I think I know the answer to this since you were using the same cases, but did you load any powder in the correct cartridges and fire over a crony with control rounds and tumbled rounds?


No I have not and my normal tumbling is no more than an hour. I doubt there would be enough difference to tell over my chrony. I do have 3 of my normal AANo.7 .40S&W and 3 .223s loaded with 2230 that I could fire, but 3 rounds isn't really enough to get a good average to compare.

Somewhat related, I have fired rounds through a fairly heavily leaded Glock barrel over my chrony and then cleaned the barrel and fired some more and there was no noticeable difference in several 10 shot strings of each.

Link Posted: 1/24/2010 3:42:52 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ErikOR:
Is it just me, or do the tumbled black powder grains appear more angular and sharp than the non-tumbled ones?  Seems contrary to what I would expect.


The black powder was more inconsistent in size and shape than the smokeless and it was harder to find some that were flat enough to get a decent focused picture.

Link Posted: 1/24/2010 7:36:01 AM EDT
awesome!
Link Posted: 1/24/2010 7:47:08 AM EDT
Great test and great info! I've tumbled loaded ammo for years and never found any indication of a difference between tumbled and untumbled. I know several shooters and handloaders who are otherwise fairly knowledgeable who still insist that tumbling breaks down the powder granules and makes the ammo "hotter". I'll have to refer them to this post.

Thanks for the effort and the report.
Link Posted: 1/24/2010 9:35:20 AM EDT
Excellent post and test.  Being the empiricist I am, if I get some time in the next few weeks I'll run a couple velocity tests under similar tumbing comditions.
Link Posted: 1/24/2010 10:22:29 AM EDT

Outstanding! That's definitive enough for me! I always suspected BS and never had measurable diferrences in ammo tumbled after loading, but after reading your excellent thread I will tumble with peace of mind.

Thanks for sharing.
Link Posted: 1/24/2010 10:28:04 AM EDT
Tag for home.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 1/24/2010 10:37:05 AM EDT
Well done. A great report. Thanks for doing this.
Link Posted: 1/24/2010 11:45:46 AM EDT
popnfresh, thank you for a well done test! The photos speak volumes.

Now if you could just figure out the "secondary shock wave" theory  

Again, thanks for very informative test.
Link Posted: 1/24/2010 11:47:10 AM EDT
Originally Posted By pegleggreg:
Doesn't seem like the extra tumble time made the powder any cleaner. I'd probably just do it for an hour or two from now on.


Very clever....

Link Posted: 1/24/2010 11:51:59 AM EDT
Thanks for the effort and sharing of the results. I can rest easy leaving my finished loads over night in the tumbler now.
Link Posted: 1/24/2010 1:09:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2010 7:01:24 PM EDT by AeroE]
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Link Posted: 1/24/2010 1:21:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2010 7:01:34 PM EDT by AeroE]
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Link Posted: 1/24/2010 1:26:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2010 6:59:06 PM EDT by AeroE]
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Link Posted: 1/24/2010 2:18:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2010 6:59:18 PM EDT by AeroE]
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Link Posted: 1/24/2010 2:22:47 PM EDT
This is a great experiment.  Any way you could do this with some EXTRUDED powder?  Maybe H335 or Varget?
Link Posted: 1/24/2010 2:32:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2010 6:59:33 PM EDT by AeroE]
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Link Posted: 1/24/2010 5:31:03 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ma96782:
IF you want the liability...............you can have it.

For ME............

Unless you can prove that ALL powder isn't affected by tumbling. Which also includes pressure, velocity, accuracy, of both new and old powder...........well, there you go.  Not to mention that the amount of powder in the case relative to the open space may also affect the results.

Aloha, Mark

PS.............where is the "stick powder."


DISCLAIMER TO ALL WHO READ MY POSTS:
Don't do things that may be dangerous like own a gun or leave your house or stay in your house, if you decide to do such things in spite of my warnings, I shall not be liable for anything that may, may not, shall, shall not, will, won't or should happen as a result.

Is that better?



Someone did the long stick powder. I don't have any stick powder stick powder doesn't flow well.
I used what I had and made no claims about all powders I just provided information from my particular experiment. Conclusions may be drawn and others may conduct similar experiments to rule out(or in) more variables that is how experimentation works.


From my other thread:

*SPECULATION FROM HERE DOWN*

From observation I don't think there is much vibration actually transferred to the items in the media. The media is constantly moving and very loose, not a good medium for transferring energy, only when the case or cartridge comes in contact with the side or bottom does it feel a large amount of vibration and that only lasts a second. Stick your finger into the media when it is on, you will feel very little vibration.

The vibration, I think, is just settling the loose media. The media at the inside diameter of the tub settles down, the shape of the tub allows for the media at the outside diameter of the tub to "settle up" getting out of the way of the downward settling and this starts the rolling motion. The vibration is an efficient way to get everything moving evenly and constantly more so than to actually hit granules of media against the cases.

The vibratory tumbler doesn't simulate a paint shaker where the contents of a container are being shaken, the tumble is just moving the container though a fluid abrasive media.





Oh and bump for update in original post of fired rounds.


Link Posted: 1/24/2010 6:52:11 PM EDT
Originally Posted By popnfresh:
Originally Posted By TripletDad:
I agree there doesn't look to be a lot of visible change to the powders.  I think I know the answer to this since you were using the same cases, but did you load any powder in the correct cartridges and fire over a crony with control rounds and tumbled rounds?


No I have not and my normal tumbling is no more than an hour. I doubt there would be enough difference to tell over my chrony. I do have 3 of my normal AANo.7 .40S&W and 3 .223s loaded with 2230 that I could fire, but 3 rounds isn't really enough to get a good average to compare.

Somewhat related, I have fired rounds through a fairly heavily leaded Glock barrel over my chrony and then cleaned the barrel and fired some more and there was no noticeable difference in several 10 shot strings of each.



I was kinda hoping to see some target testing myself lol.


I forgot what I was reading but there was soldier/marine sniper who 'cherished' one round, the first round he would fire in combat.  He'd polish that round, hang it around his neck, etc.  He got into combat, promptly loaded that round and it went .......................... click.
Link Posted: 1/24/2010 6:58:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By popnfresh:
..................

Oh and bump for update in original post of fired rounds.




can you quote here on the second page please?

all those pics practically froze my laptop
Link Posted: 1/24/2010 7:07:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/24/2010 7:11:35 PM EDT by popnfresh]
Originally Posted By danpass:
Originally Posted By popnfresh:
..................

Oh and bump for update in original post of fired rounds.




can you quote here on the second page please?

all those pics practically froze my laptop



ARE those pictures in the OP super huge? When I do a preview they are real big needing scroll bars, but when I post them they fit on the page just fine.

PASTE

***UPDATE***

I had two extra .223s with 300 hours in the tumbler and two extra .40S&W that spent 205 hours in the tumbler. These were proper loading so just to check for pressure signs I decided to fire them. For the sake of safety in case there was an explosion(the lead .40s were being fired through my factory Glock27 ), I fired them into the BOX O' SILENCE. There was no discernible difference in feel or sound and by the looks of the primers there was no excessive pressure.

In the photo from left to right is untumbled .40 then two .40s that spent 205 in the tumbler then two .223 that spent 300 in the tumbler and then two untumbled .223s

Click for full size.



Link Posted: 1/24/2010 7:22:45 PM EDT
the board will resize pics but the overall size (in mb) remains.  guess that's why it got bogged down (and took a while to load over broadband)
Link Posted: 1/24/2010 8:05:16 PM EDT
VERY interesting I will say, I always did NOT believe that myth. Given the fact of manufacturing any powder and then transportation of powder, as well as being put into factory ammunition and all the "tumbling" or vibration it would get from transportation, carrying, etc wouldn't have any noticeable effect on powder.

Testing EVERY powder of every brand in every tumbler made would cost a substantial amount of money. To do that just to make a few select skeptical people happy is not something I think anyone would really care to do.

To the OP all I can say is thank you and WOW!!!!!
Link Posted: 1/24/2010 9:18:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By nightwolf357:
VERY interesting I will say, I always did NOT believe that myth. Given the fact of manufacturing any powder and then transportation of powder, as well as being put into factory ammunition and all the "tumbling" or vibration it would get from transportation, carrying, etc wouldn't have any noticeable effect on powder.

Testing EVERY powder of every brand in every tumbler made would cost a substantial amount of money. To do that just to make a few select skeptical people happy is not something I think anyone would really care to do.
To the OP all I can say is thank you and WOW!!!!!


Honestly there will always be people that will be skeptical no matter the amount of testing or proof. There were people that were still convinced the world was flat no matter the evidence. They brought it to their graves.

I will continue to tumble loaded ammo without fear of issues of powder problems.
Link Posted: 1/24/2010 9:19:50 PM EDT
Don't tumble live ammo.

I read it on the internet so it must be true.

Wait....





Nice post.
Link Posted: 1/24/2010 9:59:55 PM EDT
Thank you for your time.
Link Posted: 1/25/2010 12:03:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2010 7:00:19 PM EDT by AeroE]
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Link Posted: 1/25/2010 8:42:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2010 7:00:35 PM EDT by AeroE]
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Link Posted: 1/25/2010 8:49:26 AM EDT
I would be interested in an average chrony of velocity before and after tumble.
Link Posted: 1/25/2010 8:49:43 AM EDT
You are correct Mark and the same rational argument can be made for using only quality factory loaded ammunition. Almost all manufacturers recommend it.

If we only concerned ourselves with safety we would still be throwing rocks.

Different things that we do will have different levels of danger and will require greater levels of caution.

Many non gun owners think owning a gun is dangerous, many gun owners think reloading is dangerous and many reloaders think tumbling live ammo is dangerous.
Based on anecdotal evidence those thoughts are all correct to an extent accept for tumbling live ammo, which has no evidence yet.

The people who are tumbling live ammo are likely to be reloaders, their reloads alone are far far more dangerous than tumbling those reloads for an hour or two. Nobody, other than me, is regularly tumbling ammunition for 300 hours.

I have nothing to gain from this and don't want argue with you I just like to discuss and debate. As I said I made no claims I am just presenting my data and my opinion. I was a bit sceptical about the whole idea, and needing actual information, rather than hearsay, so I decided to try something.

Just like the myth of lead and polyogonal rifled barrels. If you just think about it for two minutes you will realize it doesn't make much sense. So maybe those barrels are more suseptable to higher pressures from leading, common sense says ok so I'll watch for leading and clean the barrel more often. Very simple and logical, use a bit of thinking rather than listening to the internet god.

Someone may try a similar experiment with older surplus ammo and find that there was an adverse effect at which point we can take that into consideration.
Link Posted: 1/25/2010 10:22:00 AM EDT
So if there is NO CHANGE after 205 hours,  just how safe would it be to tumble loaded ammo for only 1/2 hour to remove the case lube?

Obviously, completely safe.  My experience over many years proves to me there is NO HARM from 1/2 hour in the tumbler.

And, an IPSC shooter in Ohio did a similar test some years ago with samples that were tumbled for ONE WEEK with no changes in chrono results, pressure signs, etc.  

And, several sources have reported that the manufacturers have used this practice in their own factories.

When it comes to the safety of just 1/2 hour in the tumbler to remove case lube, its good to know we were right all along.

Aloha.
Link Posted: 1/25/2010 1:28:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CBR900:
So if there is NO CHANGE after 205 hours,  just how safe would it be to tumble loaded ammo for only 1/2 hour to remove the case lube?

Obviously, completely safe. My experience over many years proves to me there is NO HARM from 1/2 hour in the tumbler.

And, an IPSC shooter in Ohio did a similar test some years ago with samples that were tumbled for ONE WEEK with no changes in chrono results, pressure signs, etc.  

And, several sources have reported that the manufacturers have used this practice in their own factories.

When it comes to the safety of just 1/2 hour in the tumbler to remove case lube, its good to know we were right all along.

Aloha.

I'd like to call for a vote now.  Everyone in favor of closing this thread and allowing the mods to delete any future threads on the same topic, please say aye.................


Link Posted: 1/25/2010 2:03:38 PM EDT
That was an excellent & well done experiment.

Thanks for sharing your results!
MLG
Link Posted: 1/25/2010 2:10:12 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/25/2010 2:52:59 PM EDT
What kind of microscope?  We run Olympus BH-2 with trinoc. heads for polarizing, CH-2 for phase contrast.
We also have Nikons, Zeiss and a few others but the BH-2's get most of the work done.
We also run scanning and transmission electron scopes. I would love to SEM the 300 hour powder.
Link Posted: 1/25/2010 3:45:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/25/2010 6:00:53 PM EDT by CBR900]
+1 for making this a tacked thread.

For those still frightened of running loaded ammo through a brief, 1/2 trip in the tumbler, maybe reloading is not a good hobby for you & it would be better if you just stuck to factory-loaded ammo?

Aloha.

Originally Posted By AeroE:
Thanks for the article.  I couldn't get the thread to load over the weekend and just now got to see what you found.  I wish your lighting had been more diffuse and whiter and identical for both sets of photos, but you're not a lab and what we see is pretty damn good.  Thanks for the link to the Box O' Silence, too, I lost track of that project.

Please add a link to your thread in the tacked Gateway thread at the top of the forum.



Link Posted: 1/25/2010 4:32:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2010 7:01:02 PM EDT by AeroE]
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Link Posted: 1/25/2010 4:51:31 PM EDT
I honestly think the ammo gets more vibration in the bed of the truck going to the range then it does in 15 minutes in the tumbler to clean the lube off. Having driven a long haul truck for a living at one point in my life I KNOW the powder gets more vibration before it gets to the store then it will in the tumbler.

That being said I think it would be wise to limit the process to the minimum needed to remove the lube.
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